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View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2019-06-20 12:19 [p.29469]
Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I would like to offer my condolences to Mr. Warawa's family and friends and to his colleagues in the Conservative caucus.
Mr. Warawa proudly served the people of Langley—Aldergrove for 15 years. He was taken from us by cancer today, reminding us that there is still a long way to go to beat this terrible disease.
The last time he addressed the House, Mr. Warawa knew this day would come. He reminded us that members must not let themselves get too caught up in politics and forget what matters. He told us to take care of ourselves and to spend time with our families, because in the end, that is what really matters.
Rest in peace, Mark. Thank you for your public service and your contribution to your country.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2019-06-18 18:23 [p.29336]
Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois agrees to apply and will be voting against the motion.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2019-06-17 14:00 [p.29175]
Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' immigration policy is a complete failure.
After four years, hundreds of irregular migrants are still crossing the border into Quebec every day. No progress has been made at Roxham Road or in Ottawa on the processing of applications, and the Canada-U.S. safe third country agreement is still in force.
Our farmers are still concerned that they will lose their crops because their temporary foreign workers are not arriving in time. Applications have been stalled for months in Ottawa, and every summer the federal government seems somehow surprised when the problem comes up again.
Ottawa still wants to force Quebec to accept more refugees while it is deporting the Haitian refugees we want to keep. Ottawa is still opposed to requiring newcomers to demonstrate a sufficient knowledge of French before they can become Quebeckers.
The Liberals' record shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that Quebec should handle its own immigration without Ottawa's involvement.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2019-06-10 14:00 [p.28802]
Mr. Speaker, Catalonia's exiled president, Carles Puigdemont, has been forced to delay his visit to Quebec yet again. It was supposed to happen in April, then in June, and now it has been postponed to the fall because Canada once again did not allow him into the country in time. Mr. Puigdemont deserves to be treated with all the diplomatic consideration that a democratic nation extends to heads of state.
The Bloc Québécois is calling on the Prime Minister to ensure that Canada will not interfere with Mr. Puigdemont's right to visit Quebec. In the name of democratic values, the Prime Minister must condemn the authoritarian excesses of the Spanish government, which sabotaged a referendum and is subjecting Catalonian leaders to political trials, prison sentences and exile. Such actions are totally inappropriate on the part of any country that calls itself democratic.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2019-06-03 15:22 [p.28418]
Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois agrees to apply the result from the previous vote and is voting in favour of the motion.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2019-05-27 15:36 [p.28063]
Madam Speaker, we indeed need to act to ensure that elections are held according to the rules without any cheating or outside interference via social media. We must ensure that the content that people see and share is based on facts and reality. We must ensure that there is no impersonation. The measures that the minister just outlined are not enough.
First, the government is relying upon the good faith of web giants. The minister's entire declaration was in the conditional tense. To ensure the integrity of online content, platforms would have do this or they would have to do that. The government stubbornly refuses to force web giants to follow the laws and regulations in place here. Can we really trust them? The answer is no. The founder of Facebook was very clear when he testified before the U.S. Congress. He believes that there should not be any regulations. He also indicated that it was up to the government to impose regulations if it so desired, and that he would do everything in his power to generate profits for his shareholders. That is the kind of person that Ottawa is protecting by failing to put in place a strict regulatory framework. The government is refusing to impose regulations on web giants to protect the integrity of our electoral system, just as it is refusing to subject them to the same tax laws as every other business. Ottawa keeps giving web giants more and more free passes.
Second, the government sees the mote in its neighbour's eye but not the beam in its own. The main reason we must be wary of interference and impersonation in federal elections is that the existing regulatory framework is full of holes. Fake news? There was plenty of fake news in the last election, including polls with incomplete data. I remember one party here making headlines with a commissioned survey in the riding of Papineau that indicated the Prime Minister might be trailing in his own riding. That was not the only riding, nor was it the only example. In fact, back in 2006, one firm had to apologize for misinterpreting polling data.
People are worried about foreign interference in our election. Everyone points to Russia and the last U.S. presidential election, but other nations interfering in federal elections is not the only thing we need to worry about. There is another factor that may interfere and make the democratic process unfair. That factor is most certainly present here in Ottawa; that factor is money.
As long as the old parties keep hosting exclusive cocktail fundraisers at $1,500 a head to sell preferred access to ministers and the Prime Minister, as long as they refuse to restore the old system of public funding for political parties based on votes received, as recommended by former chief electoral officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley, and as long as they continue to reject this democratic solution, we must guard against the influence of lobbyists on our electoral system.
There is another problem that the government refuses to address, namely the fact that anyone can vote in a federal election without having to prove their identity. Voters are not even required to produce photo identification. That is ridiculous. A person can vote without ID, even without a photo, as long as someone else is willing to confirm their identity, by taking an oath, of course. Think about that for a second. Anyone can vote in a federal election with their face covered up and without ID. This raises questions about the possibility of identity theft.
For all of these reasons, the Bloc Québécois is not impressed with the minister's statement today. We urge Canadians to be vigilant, because the federal government plainly has no intention of taking action to fix the flaws in the system.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2019-05-10 12:02 [p.27636]
Madam Speaker, not a single penny in compensation will be going to supply-managed producers before the election. The Parliamentary Budget Officer confirmed it.
Farmers are already suffering the consequences of being sacrificed in the free trade agreements. To them, compensation is not an election issue, but an urgent need. The farmers say they want to see concrete action before the election, and that would include a cheque.
When will they get their cheque?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2019-05-10 12:03 [p.27636]
Madam Speaker, a cheque is exactly what people want. They have had it up to here with reassuring words. The Parliamentary Budget Officer says that if he were a farmer, he would be worried. There are only so many ways to reassure people.
Rather than tell supply-managed farmers to vote Liberal if they want their cheque, will the government get those cheques in the mail before the end of the session?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2019-05-10 12:05 [p.27636]
Madam Speaker, the Conservatives' $100-billion naval strategy sought to ensure the survival of two of Canada's shipyards, even if it meant destroying Davie and all of its suppliers, mostly in Saguenay. When the Liberals took office, they wanted to finish the job the Conservatives started, finish off Davie and deprive it of contracts. That is what we learned from the Vice-Admiral Norman case.
Now that the government has stayed proceedings against the vice-admiral, does it also intend to abandon the Conservatives' naval strategy and finally treat Davie fairly?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2019-05-07 15:10 [p.27485]
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. If the Conservatives are going to heckle, the least they could do, in a self-respecting Parliament, is wait until the last sentence or word of a motion.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2019-05-01 15:17 [p.27238]
Mr. Speaker, I believe if you seek it you will find the unanimous consent of the House for the following motion: That the House call on the government to publicly justify its decision to deny Carles Puigdemont's entry into Quebec.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2019-04-29 15:12 [p.27110]
Mr. Speaker, I believe I will have the consent of the House to adopt the following motion: That this House denounce the Government of Canada's decision to deny Carles Puigdemont entry into Quebec.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2019-04-29 15:28 [p.27113]
Mr. Speaker, April 21 became a dark and sombre day for the entire world when over 250 people were killed at the hands of terrorists and over 500 more were injured in Sri Lanka. The vast majority of these people were families who were gathering to celebrate Easter. Islamist terrorists detonated explosives in three churches and set off three more bombs in hotels around the capital.
The Bloc Québécois denounces and condemns this unspeakably barbaric terrorist attack. We wish to offer our sincere condolences to the victims' loved ones and to the entire Sri Lankan population. We wish a speedy recovery for those injured. We hope the entire population will be able to unite to find the courage to get through this terrible ordeal together. We wish all Sri Lankans the strength to heal this deep wound suffered by the entire nation, without getting sucked into darkness and violence, which is what the cowards who perpetrated these terrible crimes want.
Humanity as a whole has a duty to stand by them and fight all extremists. It is our duty to fight religiously motivated violence. It is our duty not to respond to these crimes with cynicism or complacency. More and more of these crimes are happening. Things are getting more and more dangerous. Violence is on the rise in a world where sectarianism finds fertile ground everywhere.
It is our duty to remember that all individuals are free to practice the religion of their choice or no religion at all and should be able to do so safely and securely. That is one of the pillars of our society and a fundamental value in every democratic society that holds freedom dear.
In response to the rise of extremism around the world, we must stand up for the founding principles of free societies, for freedom, for the conviction that all men and women are equal, that all are equal in the eyes of the law. These principles that unite us are the best defence against extremists who seek to divide us.
I will close by expressing our solidarity with the Christian community of Sri Lanka and Christians around the world who feel less safe today than they did yesterday.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2019-01-30 15:12 [p.25025]
Mr. Speaker, yesterday, in response to a question from the member for La Pointe-de-l'Île, the Minister of Canadian Heritage made a statement that is beneath the dignity of this House. He said, and I quote, that “the traditional discourse of the Bloc Québécois...seeks to divide and create barriers on the basis of language, culture and colour.”
He accused the Bloc Québécois of making racist statements because we want to protect the French language. He is implying that if Quebec wants to speak French, it is racist. The Minister of Canadian Heritage must immediately apologize for his biased, shameful, untrue and unfounded comments.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2019-01-29 10:05 [p.24933]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today not to speak about the method you will be using for the next secret ballot on the votability of Bill C-421, which was introduced by the member for La Pointe-de-l'Île, but to ask that the result of the secret ballot be announced at the same time as the result of the vote.
We therefore ask that the Speaker announce not only whether Bill C-421 is votable or not, but also the number of votes in favour and votes against.
Standing Orders 92(4)(a) and 92(4)(b) have been used only once before. Mr. Speaker, on that occasion, you followed the practice following upon the election of the Speaker, which is to announce the result of the vote with no reference to the number of ballots cast for each side of the question.
On November 27, 2017, my NDP colleague from New Westminster—Burnaby clearly articulated one of the issues surrounding the announcement of ballot results. On that day, he said:
This place runs on precedent and previous practice and the only other use of a secret ballot vote in the House is for the election of the Speaker. That procedure is prescribed by Standing Orders 2 through 7 and they are designed to show the importance of the following of these rules.
It is rather ironic to compare the election of a Speaker of the House of Commons, which falls under sections 44 and 49 of the Constitution Act of 1867, to the votability and thus the constitutionality of Bill C-421, which should be considered as part of the regular legislative work of the House.
We understand full well why it is important to protect and not undermine a new Speaker by not divulging the number of supporting votes he or she received. That helps prevent the Speaker's mandate from being challenged, but who is the government trying to protect in the case of Bill C-421?
The purpose of the secret ballot under Standing Order 92(4)(b) is to allow members to vote freely without their party whip knowing how they voted, but how would we know if the vote was in fact whipped?
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
Mr. Luc Thériault: If any of the members opposite have something to say, then they should rise and say it; otherwise, they should let me talk.
The government is trying to muzzle the opposition by saying that the bill is clearly unconstitutional, when that may not in fact be the case. We are not calling into question the secret ballot, but we believe that it is essential that the number of members who are in favour and the number who are opposed be made known, precisely to counter the government's will to impose a gag order.
To put this in context, a bill can be rejected if it is clearly unconstitutional. The third edition of House of Commons Procedure and Practice from 2017 is very clear on the subject:
Bills and motions must not clearly violate the Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1982, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
During his testimony in committee, a House of Commons law clerk explained that Bill C-421 was not clearly unconstitutional because arguments could be made both for and against its constitutionality. Unfortunately, the Liberal majority decided otherwise, not based on whether the bill was unconstitutional, but for its own partisan reasons.
Over the next two days, members will decide whether private member's Bill C-421 can be designated votable. This matter relates to the legislative procedure governing private members' bills, which is something we have dealt with about a thousand times since the last election. It is not a constitutional matter like the election of the Speaker of the House.
It is rare that we see such an obvious imbalance between parliamentary democracy and partisan politics within the Subcommittee on Private Members’ Business of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs and the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.
For the government to use its majority to defeat a bill after debate in the House is one thing, but for it to stop the debate before it begins is another thing altogether.
Civic debate must be allowed in Parliament. What is the point of debate otherwise, if not to serve a parliamentary dictatorship?
Disclosing the vote results, while respecting each member's secret vote, would fall in line with what seems to me should be the goal of this Parliament in the 21st century, namely transparency and democracy.
For the same reasons given by the member for New Westminster—Burnaby, for the additional reasons I just outlined regarding the spirit in which the standing order was written, and for the reasons I mentioned about avoiding the kind of obfuscation that can undermine the vitality of parliamentary democracy, we are asking that the vote results be disclosed, specifically the number of votes in favour of the bill and the number against.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2019-01-29 16:10 [p.24987]
Madam Speaker, I cannot ask my question without first telling the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government that I really admire him, even though I may not always agree with what he says. He is a great parliamentarian. There should be a documentary about him. He seems to be in this House 24/7. He is a key part of this parliamentary democracy, I must say.
Now, we are talking about balancing the budget, and therefore about taxing and spending. I would like to know how the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government can look taxpayers in the eye, without any shame, when his government is allowing Canada's big banks to continue engaging in tax avoidance. They send their money to Barbados, which means it cannot be put to good use here. They make billions of dollars in profits every quarter. That could help a lot of people, particularly in the health care system.
How could my colleague vote against our motion, which would have made that illegal?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2019-01-28 15:19 [p.24886]
Mr. Speaker, I seek unanimous consent for the following motion: That the House request that the results of the secret ballot on Bill C-421, an act to amend the Citizenship Act with respect to adequate knowledge of French in Quebec, to be held January 29 and 30, 2019, be disclosed at the same time as the voting results.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-12-12 14:07 [p.24761]
Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I would like to wish all Quebeckers a merry Christmas and a happy new year. I would also like to extend holiday greetings to my fellow members of Parliament.
The holidays give us a chance to spend time with our loved ones and recharge our batteries. New Year's Day being a time for making resolutions, I have a few suggestions for the Prime Minister.
First, he could resolve to pay for his own vacations and avoid bringing too much clothing in his luggage when he travels abroad.
Second, he could resolve to give Davie some really good contracts, increase health transfers and compensate our farmers for losses due to the new free trade agreements.
Last, he could resolve to not run a pipeline through Quebec and, if possible, to not buy pipelines from Americans with our money. He could also resolve to listen to Quebeckers for once. That would be great.
Happy holidays to all.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-12-10 15:03 [p.24621]
Mr. Speaker, the Premier of Quebec made it very clear that we want nothing to do with Alberta's dirty energy. There is no social licence. We do not want pipelines crossing our rivers, and we do not want tank cars rolling through our towns. Will the Prime Minister get the message that if they want to sell their tar sands oil to other countries, it will not be going through Quebec either by pipeline or by train?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-12-10 15:07 [p.24622]
Mr. Speaker, I seek the unanimous consent of the House for the following motion: That this House condemn the government's approval of the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration in Marrakesh without debate in this House.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-12-06 15:08 [p.24519]
Mr. Speaker, next week, at the meeting in Marrakesh, the government will discuss the global compact on migration. The issue of migrants is not strictly under federal jurisdiction. In Quebec, we also welcome, integrate and select migrants.
The Prime Minister cannot make unilateral decisions on this and leave the provinces to deal with the consequences of his decisions or his tweets.
Will he take advantage of his meeting with the first ministers to present the compact and promise to sign it only if every premier is on board?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-11-20 15:08 [p.23623]
Toufik Benhamiche is desperate. He has been held in Cuba against his will and kept from his family since July 7, 2017, and he could be thrown in prison any day, even though the Cuban supreme court overturned his conviction because of a procedural error.
He is facing a new trial with the same judge, the same prosecutor and the same procedure, and he could end up unjustly convicted once again.
Will the minister responsible for global affairs act immediately to protect a citizen who is the victim of an abuse of power?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-11-08 15:02 [p.23468]
Mr. Speaker, yesterday evening, the House voted against the principle that Quebec should choose its own integration model.
The three non-negotiable principles underpinning the Quebec nation are gender equality, separation of church and state, and French as the common tongue. None of those principles appear in the multiculturalism policy.
Why is the government not letting Quebec make its own choices about how its people want to live together in society?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-11-08 15:03 [p.23468]
Mr. Speaker, the House of Commons claims to recognize the Quebec nation, but when push comes to shove, Ottawa says no: no to advancing French in Quebec, no to our environmental sovereignty, and no to allowing us to decide how we want to live together in society.
Will the Prime Minister admit that the recognition of Quebec as a nation means nothing at all to his party? It is nothing but a sham.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-11-07 14:10 [p.23378]
Mr. Speaker, Quebec is in mourning today. The Bloc Québécois extends sincere condolences to Bernard Landry's loved ones, to his wife, Chantal, and his three children, Julie, Philippe and Pascale.
Bernard Landry was premier of Quebec, an architect of modern Quebec, a great patriot and, most importantly, a staunch advocate for independence. He worked his entire life out of love for all Quebeckers. He was a pillar of our nation's economic development, a true statesman who showed vision, dignity and accountability in our nation's highest positions.
Mr. Landry transformed Quebec's relationship with first nations and the Inuit. He was so proud of the Paix des Braves. He was a kind man and accessible leader who generously shared his time and his keen intellect and was a model of dedication and commitment to the cause.
Thank you, Mr. Landry.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-11-06 19:27 [p.23370]
Madam Speaker, the bill I am honoured to introduce in the House has one simple objective. Quebeckers should be able to make their own choices about how they want to live together in their society.
Ottawa has no right to decide what integration should look like in Quebec. The House has recognized the Quebec nation. That could have meant something. It could have meant that Quebeckers exist. It took Ottawa a long time to realize that, but it did not take long for that phony recognition to be revealed as strictly symbolic. It was a sham.
During the two hours of debate on this bill, I heard members of other parties say some really outlandish things. To hear the NDP tell it, our bill, as the member said, “is a blatant attempt to fan the flames of anti-immigration and anti-refugee rhetoric”. The Bloc Québécois wants Quebec to be exempt from the Multiculturalism Act so it can make its own decisions about integration and how people live together in our society, and the NDP accuses the Bloc of being anti-immigration. Why? Are they suggesting that anyone who does not like multiculturalism is racist or pro-Trump? Are they suggesting that anyone who prefers to organize their society some other way is xenophobic, chauvinistic, anti-immigration and anti-refugee?
That kind of statement is revolting. It reeks of disdain for Quebec and Quebec-bashing. The member should apologize, but I will not even ask her to.
In Quebec, we make it clear that we like being tightly woven. We like living together. We consider diversity a wealth that should be shared. More than just tolerate people, we welcome and respect them. We like to get to know others and grow from being with them, not just living next to one another.
The Liberals tried to be more conciliatory. They talked to us about the Cullen-Couture agreement and assured us that multiculturalism and interculturalism coexist very well together. That is not the issue.
Quebec must not work on harmonizing the Quebec population within the parameters of multiculturalist dogma. Quebec should be setting its own integration model. That could very well be interculturalism, cultural convergence, common culture, cultural match, or even multiculturalism, although that would not be my choice, but it is up to Quebec.
Integrating newcomers, our choices for ensuring openness to the other, promoting the diversity of the different cultures that create Quebec culture, must not be subjected to the political objectives of the Government of Canada.
I acknowledge that the Conservative Party touched on something. In the words of my colleague from Richmond—Arthabaska, the Multiculturalism Act “seeks to recognize that multiculturalism is a fundamental characteristic of the Canadian heritage and identity and that it provides an invaluable resource in the shaping of our country's future.”
There you have it. The Liberals, NDP and Conservatives see questioning multiculturalism as an attack on Canadian identity. For the three federalist parties, multiculturalism is a state religion. This is not the case in Quebec because the act sends a mixed message to newcomers. While Ottawa is promising them that they will not have to change anything, Quebec is saying, “Here, we speak French; here, gender equality is non-negotiable; here, there is a separation of church and state.”
I can see that our bill will not pass second reading, which is disappointing. However, when members deny Quebec its right to choose how to live together, make assumptions about racist intentions, and force us to abide by a model we do not identify with, it is clear to me that we are not at home here.
Quebec is our only country, and the federal parties made that quite clear in this debate.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-10-25 15:11 [p.22840]
Mr. Speaker, “talking through one's hat” is a figure of speech. “Taking someone for a fool” is a figure of speech. However, the $1-billion price tag for cancelling a contract to sell arms to Saudi Arabia is not a figure of speech.
Does the Prime Minister take us for fools, or is he talking through his hat when he invents numbers to get out of cancelling deals with Saudi Arabia?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-10-25 15:12 [p.22840]
Mr. Speaker, the truth is that the Prime Minister wants to keep selling arms. Raif Badawi's flogging sentence will not stop Canada from doing business, nor will the jailing of women who stand up for their rights, the killing of civilians in Yemen or the assassination of a journalist in a consulate.
What more does this government need to stop selling arms to this vile country? Maybe what it really needs is a spine.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-10-23 15:02 [p.22744]
Mr. Speaker, the Saudi regime lied repeatedly about what happened to journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It lied repeatedly about how he was killed. It lied repeatedly by claiming not to know the whereabouts of the journalist's remains.
Does the Liberal government believe the Saudi regime when it claims that it does not use Canadian armoured vehicles against Yemeni civilians?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-10-22 15:00 [p.22673]
Mr. Speaker, Saudi Arabia murders journalists. Saudi Arabia flogs bloggers. Saudi Arabia kills civilians in Yemen. Saudi Arabia lies to the entire world.
How many more Badawis, Khashoggis, women, and children will have to die? When will the Prime Minister cancel Canada's arms sales agreements with this murderous regime?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-10-18 14:59 [p.22570]
Mr. Speaker, this government, which is all about promoting peace and love and singing Kumbaya, is quick to abandon its grand principles of universal peace and love when it comes to taking action against tyranny. There will not be any sanctions against Saudi Arabia for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, no sir. The government is looking the other way. I do not call that diplomacy. I call that complicity.
Is the Prime Minister aware that, by selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, he is complicit with this murderous regime?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-10-18 15:01 [p.22571]
Mr. Speaker, enough is enough. We need to draw the line between what is acceptable and unacceptable. The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is the last, blood-soaked straw. By selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, Canada is supporting this murderous regime and selling its soul.
Will the government suspend its contracts with Saudi Arabia or will it remain complicit?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-10-18 15:05 [p.22571]
Mr. Speaker, I want to raise a question of privilege.
In response to our question yesterday, the Prime Minister misled the House by providing incorrect information. The interim leader of the Bloc Québécois asked him why the rush to legalize cannabis by October 17, and the Prime Minister replied:
The provinces, including Quebec, asked for eight to 12 weeks to legalize cannabis after the entry into force of the bill, and we gave them 17 weeks.
However, Quebec asked to push cannabis legislation back to July 1, 2019. The Quebec National Assembly adopted a unanimous motion to that effect on November 16, 2017. It reads:
THAT the National Assembly ask the Federal Government to defer the cannabis legalization currently scheduled to come into force on 1 July 2018 until at least 1 July 2019.
The Prime Minister's statement was misleading.
In addition, after the National Assembly adopted this motion, it also unanimously agreed to send this motion to the Prime Minister and to all Liberal members of Parliament from Quebec.
The Prime Minister therefore had knowledge of the resolution adopted by the Quebec National Assembly. The Prime Minister therefore knew when he was making that statement that it was incorrect.
Given that the Prime Minister's statement was misleading and that the Prime Minister made a statement that he knew to be incorrect, it seems clear to us that the Prime Minister intended to mislead the House. Just this morning we received the selected decisions from May 7, 2012, of the Speaker who preceded you. On page 31, it states:
It has become accepted practice in this House that the following elements have to be established when it is alleged that a Member is in contempt for deliberately misleading the House: one, it must be proven that the statement was misleading; two, it must be established that the Member making the statement knew at the time that the statement was incorrect; and three, that in making the statement, the Member intended to mislead the House.
Given that the Prime Minister's statement was misleading and incorrect—as we have demonstrated—and given that he knew, when he was making the statement, that it was misleading and incorrect—as we have demonstrated—what other intention could he have had apart from misleading the House by saying these falsehoods?
I repeat the Prime Minister's reply:
The provinces, including Quebec, asked for eight to 12 weeks to legalize cannabis after the entry into force of the bill, and we gave them 17 weeks.
I would like to clarify that I raised my question of privilege at the earliest opportunity because the most recent information was obtained during yesterday's question period.
Finally, should you consider it to be a prima facie question of privilege, I intend to move the following motion: That the House acknowledge that the Prime Minister misled the House and ask him to correct the answer to the question posed October 17, 2018, by the member for La Pointe-de-l'Île, and to apologize to the House.
Thank you for your attention to this matter, Mr. Speaker.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-10-15 15:07 [p.22338]
Mr. Speaker, how many Raif Badawis, Samar Badawis and Jamal Khashoggis will it take before the government decides to stop selling arms to a regime that flogs bloggers and murders journalists?
When will the Liberals stop selling out human rights for dirty money from the murderous regime of Saudi Arabia?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-10-02 15:16 [p.22119]
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege relating to the fact that, yesterday, the government announced that it had agreed to open 3.59% of the Canadian milk and dairy products market to American products, despite the unanimous adoption of a motion by the House of Commons on September 26, 2017, which read:
That the House reiterate its desire to fully preserve supply management during the NAFTA renegotiations.
The 2015 edition of the Oxford Dictionary of English defines the word “fully” as “completely or entirely; to the fullest extent”.
This raises a question. What is the point of a motion that is adopted by the unanimous consent of the House of Commons, this assembly of representatives of the people, the very heart of parliamentary democracy, if the government can toss that motion out at will?
On page 598 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, it states:
However, orders or resolutions presented or adopted by unanimous consent express the will of the House and are as binding as any other House order or resolution.
The government disregarded a House of Commons decision to fully preserve supply management.
I want to make it clear that I am raising this question of privilege at the first available opportunity because the latest information became available during question period yesterday after the member for Mirabel asked a question.
We think the government's disregard for the clearly expressed will of the House is a grave offence to its authority and dignity. House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, reads as follows at page 60:
Any conduct which offends the authority or dignity of the house, even though no breach of any specific privilege may have been committed, is referred to as a contempt of the House. Contempt may be an act or an omission. It does not have to actually obstruct or impede the House or a Member; it merely has to have the tendency to produce such results.
In our opinion, the fact that this agreement was signed despite a unanimous motion by the House to fully preserve supply management is nothing short of contempt of Parliament on the part of the government.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, should you find a prima facie case of privilege, I intend to move the following motion: “That the House note that the government is in contempt of Parliament by failing to respect the unanimous consent of the House, which called on it to fully protect supply management.”
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-10-01 15:04 [p.22044]
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege. On September 26, 2017, the House unanimously adopted the following motion:
That the House reiterate its desire to fully preserve supply management during the NAFTA renegotiations.
Everyone knows that, yesterday, the government concluded a new agreement with the United States. By so doing, the government dismissed out of hand the unanimous will—
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-10-01 15:06 [p.22044]
Mr. Speaker, a question of privilege must be raised as soon as the breach occurs. I could not inform you a day or an hour in advance because I did not hear the government confirm what was reported in the media. Then I had to wait until question period to have the opportunity to rise today. It was therefore impossible to give an hour's notice. You are the guardian of parliamentarians' speaking time, and independent members get very little of that. It seems to me that you could at least wait until the end of my remarks, which are not even a minute long.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-09-26 18:13 [p.21876]
moved that Bill C-393, an act to amend the Canadian Multiculturalism Act (non-application in Quebec), be read the second time and referred to a committee.
He said: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise to speak to this important bill, very pleased to table it on behalf of the Bloc Québécois, and very pleased to kick off the debate we need to have on multiculturalism and its impact on Quebec.
This debate follows up on the supposed recognition of the Quebec nation by this Parliament. I know that the Prime Minister does not believe in it and that he wants to make Canada the first postnational state in the world, which means that Quebec's national identity would disappear. That is completely ridiculous.
The Quebec nation is the community to which we belong, the group with which we identify and the one we are discussing in order to decide how our society is to be organized. A nation is a special place where political decisions can be made and, therefore, recognizing a nation means recognizing a political entity with legitimate political rights and aspirations.
By recognizing the Quebec nation, the House of Commons recognized, perhaps unwillingly, the right of Quebeckers to control the social, economic and cultural development of Quebec themselves.
By stating that the Quebec nation is composed of all residents of Quebec, regardless of their origin or mother tongue or the region where they live, the federal government recognized that the Quebec nation has a clear geographic base made up of all of the territory of Quebec.
In short, recognition of the Quebec nation also means recognition of the legitimacy of Quebec's repeated demands that Quebeckers have the powers and resources that are needed in order to develop their own society.
I think it is worth noting that Quebec has never needed Ottawa in order to be a nation and unanimously declare its nationhood.
On October 30, 2003, the National Assembly of Quebec unanimously passed the following motion:
THAT the National Assembly reaffirm that the people of Quebec form a nation.
The motion does not say that the people of Quebec form a nation if Canada remains as it is, or that Quebec is a nation if it opts for sovereignty. It says that the people of Quebec form a nation, period. There is a reason why the National Assembly specified, repeated and reaffirmed the existence of the nation of Quebec. In fact, this resolution echoes what governments of Quebec have been saying for decades. Daniel Johnson Sr. said in February 1968:
The Constitution should not have as its sole purpose to federate territories, but also to associate in equality two linguistic and cultural communities, two founding peoples, two societies, two nations...
René Lévesque said in June 1980:
Canada is composed of two equal nations; Quebec is the home and the heart of one of those nations and, as it possesses all the attributes of a distinct national community, it has an inalienable right to self-determination. This right to control its own national destiny is the most fundamental right that Quebec society has.
Quebec has long been a nation, both before and after Canada was formed. That is a reality that none of the federalist parties has ever had the courage to enshrine in the Constitution.
As Gilles Duceppe said on November 22, 2006:
I would never insist that Quebeckers form a nation only on the condition that they have a country, nor would I ever accept that we could be recognized as a nation only on the condition that we stay in Canada.
...
We are a nation because we are what we are, no matter which future we choose.
That is why the Quebec nation must have all the tools it needs to thrive and define itself.
Accordingly, I included the following preamble in the bill:
Whereas Quebecers form a nation and therefore possess all the tools needed to define their identity and protect their common values, including as regards the protection of the French language, the separation of church and state and gender equality;
I sincerely hope that the House will unanimously support this preamble.
That being said, Quebec is the only nation of its kind in the world. It is a nation inhabited by 8 million francophones in a continent of almost 400 million anglophones. Demographically speaking, we should have disappeared over time. Quebec is a true historic anomaly, and it must have all the tools it needs to carry on, starting with its independence. The federal government could have been an ally in the phenomenon of Quebec, or what I would even go so far as to call the miracle of Quebec.
Ottawa could have used its authority to allow Quebec's distinct identity to develop. Members will recall the Meech Lake-Charlottetown fiasco. Instead, Ottawa is hindering Quebec and undermining Quebec's efforts to create a unifying culture.
One of Ottawa's worst attacks on the Quebec nation, on what we are collectively, is multiculturalism. Multiculturalism is undermining the Quebec phenomenon and the existence of a common culture.
If we go to the Government of Canada website, under the heading “Canadian identity and society” it states that multiculturalism “ensur[es] that all citizens keep their identities, take pride in their ancestry”. In other words, integration is pointless.
In Quebec, multiculturalism is not about a policy of integration, but rather a policy of disintegration. It is a policy that creates a fragmented society inhabited by people from many different cultures, rather than fostering the development of a society that integrates newcomers to enrich a common culture.
The reality is that multiculturalism rejects the idea of a common culture by encouraging multiple cultures to coexist. Although it is defined as a model for integrating newcomers, in reality it promotes coexistence driven by indifference, or perhaps tolerance, rather than respect for difference. This inevitably leads to ghettoization.
Concerned that multiculturalism divides society into a multitude of solitudes, Quebec has always rejected the Canadian approach, especially since it trivializes Quebec's position within Canada and refutes the existence of the Quebec nation.
In 1971, Robert Bourassa stated in a letter to Pierre Elliott Trudeau that “that notion hardly seems compatible with Quebec's reality”. That was true 50 years ago and remains true today.
Quebec focuses on integration. Cultural plurality, or cultural diversity, is something to be shared. Getting to know one another better, talking to one another more and building our society together, that is the Quebecois approach. To do that, we have to be on the same wavelength. That is why, in Quebec, we ask immigrants to recognize the French fact, to know the French language, to learn it, and to recognize that it is the language of our common space. That is why Quebec insists on the need to respect the cornerstones of Quebec society, such as the separation of church and state, gender equality, and the existence of an historic cultural heritage. That heritage is multicultural, not multiculturalist.
Before 2003, there was even talk of a civil pact. The Quebec model of integration goes beyond simple citizenship designed to promote the development and peaceful coexistence of cultural minorities in a vacuum by bringing these minorities to enter the symbolic and institutional space occupied by the nation. In other words, contrary to Canada's approach, which talks about preserving the identity of minorities without integration, Quebec's approach supports integration based on the learning of the French language, the official language and language common to the citizenry, and on the adherence to a set of fundamental principles.
According to the Quebec department of immigration and cultural communities:
An intercultural society's challenge is a collective one: to ensure harmony by maintaining and adopting the values and principles of action that unite all citizens. This challenge is met with respect for individual, cultural and religious differences.
There is no better example to illustrate the difference between Canada's approach and Quebec's approach.
Québec is a French-speaking, democratic and pluralist society based on the rule of law, which means that everyone has the same value and dignity as well as the same right to protection under the law.
Knowledge and respect for the values of Québec society are necessary for adapting to your new environment and fully participating in it.
Integration is achieved through full participation, which multiculturalism inhibits.
In a February 2008 article in Le Monde diplomatique, Louise Beaudoin explained why the Quebec integration model and the Canadian one are incompatible:
For nearly 30 years, Canada and Quebec have had two different approaches to integration. The federal multiculturalism policy, which is modelled on the British approach, promotes cultural diversity based on ethnicity and encourages people to seek out their own community of origin. In contrast, Quebec opted for a model based on interculturalism, a cultural exchange within the framework of the common values of a pluralistic nation with a francophone majority. These two clearly conflicting visions are irreconcilable.
This is confusing to newcomers. They see Quebec as a French-speaking nation that exists within a bilingual country that promotes bilingualism. It prides itself on an approach to welcoming and integrating newcomers that focuses on the importance of certain basic values and upholds French as the language of the people. This conflicts with the definition of a Canada that presents itself as bilingual and multicultural.
In its preliminary submission to the Bouchard-Taylor Commission, the Conseil des relations interculturelles du Québec highlighted this confusion:
However, the efforts made by the Government of Quebec to define and promote its own model of integration came up against the ideology of multiculturalism, which was sometimes interpreted by certain groups as the possibility of living one's own culture according to the rationale of separate development....the ideological way of thinking that emerged in the 1970s, which presented society as a mosaic of cultures, has since been encouraging certain groups to develop beliefs that clash with Quebec's vision.
People arriving in Quebec receive two contradictory messages. Instead of laying blame, as some are wont to do, the Bloc Québécois thinks it would be better to make the messages clearer. In their February 8, 2007, manifesto entitled “En finir avec le multiculturalisme”, Quebec intellectuals Charles Courtois, Dominic Courtois, Robert Laplante, Danic Parenteau and Guillaume Rousseau stated the following:
We think that Quebeckers want to see the principles of equality and public secularism affirmed, putting the emphasis on a common culture and providing inspiration for the principles of integration and the methods of dispute resolution. The Charter of the French Language already does this in part, but in order to do so fully, Quebec needs to have its own citizenship....For now, new Quebeckers are sworn in as new Canadian citizens without being encouraged to integrate into the Quebec nation. This is not what inclusion means to Quebec.
This is why it is important for Quebec to have maximum flexibility in enforcing its own citizenship and integration policy. We believe that Quebec will truly be free only once it becomes independent. This will put an end to the confusing messages. Immigrants who choose Quebec will no longer come to a Canadian province, but will come to a francophone country. Until then, however, Quebec must be exempt from the scope of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act. That is why I introduced this bill.
Quebec needs freedom to integrate newcomers. Every year, Quebec welcomes approximately 50,000 immigrants, and this does not include refugees. We must have access to all the tools we need to integrate them and help them integrate in Quebec.
The Prime Minister's version of multiculturalism has completely lost touch with the Quebec reality. He does not see a Quebec nation and does not think that Quebec should decide how its residents should coexist. He certainly does not want nations around the world seeing who we are, hearing our voice, and relating to our desire to carve out our own place in the world and reach out to people around the world, in a spirit of global humanism.
I urge everyone who values the interests of Quebec, Quebec culture, and Quebec identity, to support my bill, which will allow Quebec to set its own integration model. Quebec should be making its own decisions about interculturalism, cultural convergence and common culture. These decisions should not be left to a government that thinks that openness means putting on a costume when you take an international trip.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-09-26 18:28 [p.21878]
Mr. Speaker, I am a little taken aback by my colleague's comments. With all due respect, I do not think he understood my speech at all. What I said was that the multiculturalism model may work for the rest of Canada, but it is not the ideal model for Quebec.
My colleague, who belongs to a federalist party that has never recognized the Quebec nation, says he supports diversity, but that has nothing to do with multiculturalism. Multiculturalism is a policy that prevents Quebec from fully integrating newcomers because of an inherent contradiction: multiculturalism seeks to quash the Quebec difference while denying that a difference even exists.
Here, we support recognizing and respecting all differences, not just tolerating them. Canada and my colleague's party only tolerate the presence of the Quebec nation within Canada.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-09-26 18:31 [p.21878]
Mr. Speaker, if my distinguished colleague were so proud of his Quebec roots, he would not be the slightest bit opposed to including the Quebec nation in Canada's Constitution. That is what should be done at a minimum, because the Quebec nation, according to every Quebec premier I cited earlier, is a founding nation of this country.
Multiculturalism seeks to obscure Quebec's distinct nature and to reduce the nation to one ethnicity among many. That is not how Quebec, as a distinct nation and a minority, can integrate newcomers. The most renowned English Canadian experts on multiculturalism say that only a majority can carry out natural integration. We are a minority.
The 1982 Constitution even usurped our minority status, in addition to obscuring our right to be a nation. When we say that we support cultural diversity, we should at least agree to include the Quebec nation in the Canadian Constitution. I am challenging my colleague. We could then talk about being proud of our origins.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-09-25 10:05 [p.21768]
Mr. Speaker, I am tabling petition E-1646.
The petitioners are speaking out against the fact that Toufik Benhamiche, a Canadian citizen and resident of Mascouche, has been held in detention in Cuba since July 7, 2017, because he was unfairly convicted and sentenced to four years in prison without parole for manslaughter. Despite the fact that the People's Supreme Court of Cuba overturned all of the criminal convictions and recognized that Mr. Benhamiche was the victim of a tainted judicial process on April 30, 2018, Cuban authorities are still refusing to allow Mr. Benhamiche to leave the country. Canadian consular authorities have not made any requests to this effect.
This petition, which is signed by 1,636 Canadians, calls on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to take the necessary steps to ensure that Mr. Benhamiche receives impartial, fair and equitable treatment and is returned to Canada as soon as possible.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-09-24 15:07 [p.21718]
Mr. Speaker, contrary to what we just heard, the White House has confirmed that Canada is waiting for the Quebec election to be over to announce important concessions on supply management. In fact, everyone seems to be aware of this except Quebeckers.
Who is telling the truth, the Canadian government or the American government?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-09-20 15:03 [p.21613]
Mr. Speaker, the Bloc has always said that Quebeckers will end up paying for this megaproject, which is not in Quebec's national interest. The government confirmed today that it is going to waste public money on this monumental boondoggle. The question is, how? In an interview with CBC, the Minister of Veterans Affairs said that there is a lot going on behind the scenes.
In the interest of transparency and honesty towards Quebeckers, can the Minister of Finance tell us the nature of these behind-the-scenes transactions?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-09-18 13:58 [p.21484]
Mr. Speaker, I regret to inform you that none of my Bloc Québécois colleagues will be attending the reception hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Cuba-Canada.
This is unusual, given the deep friendship that Quebeckers and Cubans have always had. The reason we are not attending is to support Toufik Benhamiche, a Canadian citizen from Montcalm who has been held against his will in Cuba since July 7, 2017, when he was involved in an accident while on an excursion with his family.
Mr. Benhamiche has done no wrong. Even Cuba's highest court has recognized that he was a victim of a flawed judicial process.
Nothing is more important than justice, and Mr. Benhamiche, an exemplary citizen, is being deprived of it. For that reason, even though we wanted to attend tomorrow's event, we will not be going, and we invite all members of Parliament who care about justice to show solidarity for Mr. Benhamiche and his family members by not attending.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-06-18 15:02 [p.21149]
Mr. Speaker, from January to May, over 12,000 asylum seekers entered Quebec. If this keeps up, that number will exceed 25,000 by the end of the year. The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and his assistant, the Minister of Transport, made all kinds of promises to the Government of Quebec, but they have been all talk and no action so far.
When will the ministers do something to take the pressure off Quebec on the immigration file once and for all?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-06-18 15:04 [p.21149]
Mr. Speaker, excuses and promises, promises and excuses.
The government promised that a triage plan would be in place by April. At the end of May, they said it would happen after the Ontario election. That was two weeks ago, and there is still no plan. Summer and the end of the parliamentary session are approaching, as is the Quebec election, but I do not expect the government to come up with anything other than excuses.
When exactly will the government implement a working triage plan?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-06-11 15:23 [p.20609]
Mr. Speaker, the members of Québec Debout agree to apply the vote and will vote in favour of the motion.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-06-11 15:38 [p.20614]
Mr. Speaker, the members of Québec Debout agree to apply the vote, but we will vote no.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-06-11 15:50 [p.20617]
Mr. Speaker, the members of Québec Debout agree to apply the vote and will be voting yes.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-06-07 13:58 [p.20442]
Mr. Speaker, dairy producers are worried that supply management will be sacrificed at the NAFTA talks. Their concern is understandable, because the government has been talking out of both sides of its mouth.
Here in the House, the Liberals say they will concede nothing. In contrast, in an interview with an American broadcaster, the Prime Minister said he would be flexible. There is a world of difference between conceding nothing and being flexible.
The G7 kicks off tomorrow, and the Prime Minister will have a bilateral meeting with President Trump. We know Mr. Trump had some sharp words about supply management this week.
I want the Prime Minister to resist taking the easy way out. I would remind him that the House unanimously adopted a motion calling on the government to protect the integrity of supply management during NAFTA negotiations. The Prime Minister must keep his promise to our dairy producers.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-05-24 15:02 [p.19600]
Mr. Speaker, asylum seekers arriving in Plattsburgh are given instructions on how to cross the border illegally. One pamphlet tells them how to get to Roxham Road, how much a taxi costs, who to contact in Montreal and what to expect. The minister has known all of this for weeks. What did he just tell us he did? He made a phone call. I am impressed by such vigorous action that will make all the difference.
Does he take us for fools?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-05-24 15:03 [p.19600]
Mr. Speaker, Ottawa is preparing to take in more asylum seekers and the Americans are preparing to send them to us, but never through legal channels. The government still refuses to suspend the safe third country agreement between Canada and the United States.
Instead of encouraging illegal entries, and instead of going off to Africa, can the minister show some backbone and go to the United States to fix the problem with the American authorities?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-05-23 16:14 [p.19535]
Madam Speaker, when this government first took office, it promised to reform the Canada Elections Act. However, what we have here are amendments that seek to modernize the act but that really only make minor changes to it.
The minister said that the bill covers 85% of the Chief Electoral Officer's recommendations, but the real problem with this bill is what is being left out.
During our debates and hearings on the so-called electoral reform that the government promised to make, a renowned and respected former chief electoral officer, Jean-Pierre Kingsley, said that, in the interest of fairness, the government should immediately reinstate the per-vote subsidy.
The government claims to want to do things differently, so why then is that not included in the minister's bill?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-05-23 17:12 [p.19539]
Mr. Speaker, I rise this evening, in spite of the shameful time allocation motion, to speak to the elections modernization act at second reading. I think that the “elections modernization” part of the title is a bit much, since one of the main changes is to restore the voter card as a valid piece of ID. I will get back to this point.
I want to start by saying that it is shameful that the government has resorted to a gag order on this matter. In a former life, I sat in another Parliament, the Quebec National Assembly, which unfortunately uses the British system. Never would a government take advantage of its parliamentary majority to change election laws. In 1999, a change was made regarding voter ID. I want to inform my colleagues in the House that this does not enhance the integrity of the vote. The government will not make it easier to vote by simply considering the voter card as a valid form of ID. My colleagues can Google what happened in Quebec in 1998. An organized identity-fraud system was uncovered as part of the Berardinucci case. The court issued two rulings, and since then, voters in Quebec have been required to produce a piece of photo ID to vote.
During the last election, Quebec had no problems with voter identification. Voters in municipal, provincial, and federal elections have no problem showing ID. However, voting is a sacred act in a democracy, and we should not make it too easy. I am hearing talk about the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but voting is not a freedom. Voting comes with a duty, the duty to prove eligibility to vote.
The minister wants us to hurry up. She says this bill will go to committee, where it will be improved. That is not at all the experience I have had with clause-by-clause studies of bills in committee after second reading. What we actually hear is, “Talk all you want, sweetheart, but when your speaking time is up, we will use our parliamentary majority to do whatever we want.” The government votes down amendments and does not improve bills.
In my opinion, on an issue as important as voting rights and election laws, this government should not procrastinate and wait until the last second to try to change a few things in hopes of not looking stupid. When they first came into office, we were facing a major reform to the Canada Elections Act. We even hoped to change the voting system. Anything was possible. What we heard from Canadians can never be taken away from us. That special committee's report went into the trash. It was called a special committee because it was open to all parliamentarians, even those who did not belong to a recognized parliamentary group in the House.
In the debate on changes to the Elections Act, the next logical step would have been to give independent MPs the right to speak and even to vote in that committee. Now the minister wants us to hurry up. I would encourage her colleagues to slow down instead.
People told us that they were fed up with the party line, that the party line was one of the reasons they were so cynical. Government is all about executive power. It is all about cabinet. MPs who want to be ministers are more interested in doing the executive's bidding than honouring their mandate as parliamentarians here in the House. We are legislators, not ministers. We belong to the legislative branch and we represent the people. In a Parliament like ours, legislative power is the foundation of democracy. When my colleagues on the government side exist solely to rubber-stamp whatever the Prime Minister and the ministers tell them to, they are not doing their job. That is why voters do not bother to vote.
It is utter nonsense to say that people will not vote because it is too difficult or because the identification requirement prevents them from voting. During the hearings on electoral reform we held for months, people told us what keeps them from voting. For example, they say that their riding has been red since their great-grandfather's time and that this will not change, or that the riding has been blue since their great-grandmother's time, and this will not change. They are being stripped of their power of representation, and this is why democracy is suffering.
They told us that they want their vote to count. The current government not only proved unable to keep its promise to bring in a new voting system that represents the plurality of representation and ensures that every vote counts, but also went to great lengths to prevent all votes from actually counting, as they would if voters could finance the political parties they believe in through the votes they cast. Voters would then vote in accordance with their beliefs instead of voting strategically.
I have certainly spent a lot of time in my political life criticizing Jean Chrétien, but at least his legacy in politics and in this House was to give voters the ability to vote with conviction because he allowed their vote to finance a political party. That party might not get an MP elected, but that system gave the party the same chance right out of the gate to have its voice heard on an equal footing, in a democratic society, in the democratic debate that is an election. This also enabled the party to have the necessary funding between elections to promote its views.
To me that is democracy in a nutshell, but it is nowhere to be found in a bill that claims to limit spending. It does not even limit the government's pre-election spending. We have fixed-date elections and the government continues to make announcements, to use taxpayers' money to pay for its ads.
Under these circumstances, it is clear that we will be voting against the bill.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-05-23 17:24 [p.19540]
Madam Speaker, as I already said, the problem with this bill is what it leaves out. It contains some interesting things, but they are cosmetic.
However, we must be consistent. If there is a fixed-date election and that leads people to spend a lot of money in the pre-election period, and we need to limit that, that is a very good thing.
If they claim that because there is a fixed-date election, spending during the pre-election period must be limited, why was government advertising left out? Why did they not include government ads? Why was a limit not placed on that as well?
The government recognizes that when we did not have fixed-date elections, the government in power could make whatever announcements it wanted. It was the Prime Minister who decided whether to announce an election or not. We could not assume that the government was making a lot of announcements because an election was coming. We could not assume that, but we could have our doubts.
We now have fixed-date elections and we want to limit spending in the pre-election period. There is still a lot of work to be done with respect to third parties.
I challenge the members opposite, who will be sitting on the committee, to let the bill be improved by the opposition's amendments just for the fun of it. I cannot wait to see what they will do.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-05-23 17:27 [p.19541]
Mr. Speaker, that is more of a comment than a question, but I completely agree with my colleague.
The problem is that the Liberals decided to move a time allocation motion and curtail debate. What is more, in committee, the Liberals reject the opposition parties' amendments. They decide not to make any amendments and not to improve bills, and they can do that because they have a majority. That is why parliamentarians are so angry to see the Liberals, who promised to do politics differently, using the same approach that they criticized the previous government for using. It is the same old story.
It seems to me that the least the Liberals could have done was to show even the slightest willingness to undertake a reform.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-05-08 15:05 [p.19251]
Mr. Speaker, a year later, it is clear that the government is really just winging its response to the migrant crisis.
There is a backlog of 53,000 applications. It will take two and a half years to process them all, assuming that no further applications are submitted after today. The government's solution is to fly to Nigeria and tell people that 90% of claimants will be turned away. What a clever idea.
Is that the new magic solution for fixing the migrant crisis?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-05-07 15:04 [p.19174]
Mr. Speaker, to hear Liberal ministers tell it this morning, protecting our borders is one of this government's top priorities.
Can the minister tell us how his trip to Nigeria will address the problem of Honduran and Salvadoran asylum seekers coming in from the United States?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-05-01 18:07 [p.19019]
Mr. Speaker, the Groupe parlementaire québécois agrees to apply and will be voting against.
I would like to inform you that the vote of the member for Joliette should also be counted.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-05-01 18:10 [p.19020]
Mr. Speaker, the Groupe parlementaire québécois agrees to apply and will be voting yes.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-04-30 15:04 [p.18917]
Mr. Speaker, when the minister made promises to Quebec about the migrant crisis, he was clearly making things up as he went along. The minister assumed that Ontario would help triage the asylum claims, but the mayor of Toronto said no, since their shelters are overloaded as well. Twelve days after the minister made his promise, nothing has budged. We are not talking about a backlog of cases. We are talking about people in need who responded to the Prime Minister's irresponsible invitation.
When will this government have a plan?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-04-26 15:12 [p.18811]
Mr. Speaker, according to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, asylum seekers may have to wait up to 11 years for a hearing.
Last week, Ottawa promised to bring out a new triage system this week. We are still waiting.
My question is simple: when will we get this triage system?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-04-26 15:13 [p.18811]
Mr. Speaker, that will not do. Our resources are overloaded at the border crossings, at Roxham Road, and in the shelters. Everyone is overwhelmed.
The minister promised a new triage system. Eight days later, nothing has changed.
My question is simple: when will we get this triage system?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-04-24 15:11 [p.18698]
Mr. Speaker, in Quebec, as of April 17, fully 15,000 asylum seekers are waiting for their claim to be processed by Ottawa. No one knows if they will be accepted or not, but in the meantime we know that they need housing, health care, work, and schooling for their children. What has the Minister of Immigration done since last Wednesday evening to speed up the application processing?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-04-24 15:12 [p.18698]
Mr. Speaker, all the Liberals do is talk, talk, talk. They have meetings and blah, blah, blah, but never take any concrete action. The migrant crisis is a humanitarian crisis. There are 200 asylum seekers a day, and there will be 400 a day this summer. What do the Liberals do? They talk.
When will the minister finally hire extra staff to process the backlog of claims? It is a simple question.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-04-23 13:58 [p.18597]
Mr. Speaker, the Groupe parlementaire québécois applauds the Superior Court's decision to recognize Quebec's Bill 99 and the Quebec nation's right to self-determination as legitimate.
In a democracy, a 50% plus 1 vote is what it takes to make a choice. That is the cornerstone of the democratic values that guide this House. Some members have a flexible notion of democracy. As a party to the legal challenge against Bill 99, the federal government, regardless of the party in power, proved that it does not mind taking a heavy-handed approach if it feels that doing so is in its interest. Certain Quebec MPs from the two governing parties have shown that they are willing to betray their own people's rights if their leader tells them to.
That is why we, as democratic Quebeckers, must remain vigilant. We do not have the luxury of taking our rights for granted when the government challenges our freedom of choice in court.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-04-18 15:13 [p.18479]
Mr. Speaker, Quebec has always been a desirable destination for newcomers, but ever since the Prime Minister issued that irresponsible invitation, Quebec has been facing an immigration crisis, and Ottawa is not taking the issue seriously.
The case processing backlog at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada is years long, yet the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship sees fit to tell Quebec what to do. That is irresponsible and unacceptable, as Quebec has said.
The government's carelessness is costing Quebec a lot of money. Will the government make a decision by the end of the day and reimburse Quebec for those costs?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-04-17 16:00 [p.18445]
Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Trois-Rivières raised the issue of tax fairness and rightly so.
When my colleague from Joliette arrived here the first thing he did was raise the issue of tax unfairness as it relates to tax havens. Everyone is familiar with the idiom, the elephant in the room. I wonder how my colleague from Trois-Rivières would describe the fact that none of the needs that he listed are reflected in the budget at all.
There are people, companies, and corporations that are not paying their fair share of taxes. They are benefiting from the government's largesse since the Minister of Finance is encouraging tax havens. I would like my colleague's take on this bias and the ease with which the Minister of Finance promotes tax avoidance.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-03-26 13:58 [p.18083]
Mr. Speaker, on March 23, in France, Lieutenant Colonel Arnaud Beltrame went into a supermarket in Trèbes to trade places with the last hostage being held by a terrorist claiming to be a member of Daesh. After almost three hours of negotiations with the terrorist, Arnaud Beltrame was murdered in cold blood. He sacrificed his life to save another, responding to a gesture of hatred with a pure gesture of heroism. He responded with complete selflessness, the utmost generosity, and great humanity to the despicable evil of terrorism. Arnaud Beltrame will not be forgotten.
On behalf of the Quebec caucus and myself, I would like to extend our most sincere condolences to his wife Marielle, his daughter, and his friends and colleagues.
Arnaud Beltrame died on March 23, 2018. To the whole world, a hero was born that day.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-03-20 15:03 [p.17743]
Mr. Speaker, as recently as March 13, the Institut national de santé publique du Québec informed us that, last year, 2,332 young Quebeckers between the ages of 12 and 24 were hospitalized for acute alcohol intoxication. We are talking about 7 to 10 young people a day. The minister wants to consult and regulate because she knows full well that highly sweetened, high-alcohol beverages are dangerous.
Will she use her common sense and suspend the sale of these beverages until new regulations are put in place?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-03-20 15:04 [p.17743]
Mr. Speaker, under the law, the minister can take immediate action. It is a question of political will. It is that simple. In the past 24 hours, we have visited convenience stores in our ridings, and several of these brands can still be bought by our young people.
Why is the minister refusing to act responsibly and suspend the sale of these products while regulations are being drafted?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-03-19 15:05 [p.17658]
Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health will be holding consultations to stop sugary, high-alcohol drinks from being sold in their current format, and that is a good thing. However, we also have a duty to be diligent and above all thorough in our actions, to prevent another tragedy from occurring.
As part of these consultations, will the Minister of Health also consider banning the addition of guarana to these alcoholic drinks?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-03-19 15:10 [p.17659]
Mr. Speaker, I believe that if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent for the following motion: that this House call on Health Canada to suspend the sale of high-sugar, high-alcohol drinks and alcoholic energy drinks containing guaranine for the duration of the consultations on this matter and until such time that new rules come into effect.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-03-01 14:00 [p.17537]
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and 19 of his colleagues spent a lovely break week in India complete with costumes, music, and dancing. It was quite the production. The Prime Minister certainly embarrassed us, but what is even more upsetting is that he undermined Quebec's potential economic development.
In the space of a week, the Prime Minister found a way to insult millions of Quebec sovereignists by comparing them to terrorists, as reported by the Punjabi government. Then he found a way to insult the Punjabi government by accusing it of lying. He also insulted the Indian government twice over, once by inviting a Sikh terrorist to join his delegation and again by accusing it of plotting to sneak said terrorist into the Canadian delegation. I hope everyone realizes what a mess he has made.
The Prime Minister sabotaged every aspect of our relationship with a country that is on track to become the world's fifth-largest economy. This is a diplomatic disaster that could cost Quebec businesses dearly.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-03-01 17:18 [p.17567]
Mr. Speaker, the last time I spoke, I tried to convince my Liberal and Conservative colleagues of the merits of the bill introduced by my colleague from Terrebonne on political financing.
I would like to give an overview of this bill for the benefit of voters. This bill seeks to introduce or reintroduce per-vote party financing. This small measure would cost very little, benefit democracy, and produce a number of worthwhile results.
We have had several discussions and many questions in question period about the cash for access dynamic of political fundraising, or in other words, privileged access to the government and the Prime Minister. I am talking about private dinners that will now be advertised. People will be invited, and it will be announced that a private dinner will be held at the cost of $1,500 a person for those who can afford to attend and who have things to say to the Prime Minister about the interests of lobby groups. The Liberals think that this is a big step for democracy because they are now going to advertise these events.
At this moment, however, how many of the viewers watching this debate on television can afford to donate $1,500 to a political party, seeing as, unlike lobbies, they have no interests to advance by donating to the Prime Minister's riding of Papineau through a fundraiser being held in Vancouver? These people attended a $1,500-a-plate dinner and told the Prime Minister what they wanted, and the same day their bank was approved, poof, $70,000 magically found its way to the coffers of Papineau, 5,000 kilometres away. What a way to finance an election.
The mere suspicion and appearance of a kickback is enough to damage our democratic institutions and undermine public trust in democratic institutions.
When it was in opposition, this government said it wanted to restore the per-vote subsidy. Now that it holds the purse strings, it is backtracking under pressure from multiple lobbies. Right now, its coffers are full, as are the coffers of the Conservative Party. It is well known that power alternates between these two parties. They are two sides of the same coin. It comes as no surprise today to see these two parties joining forces to wipe out the per-vote subsidy.
This flies in the face of the Liberal government's apparently empty promise to reform the Canada Elections Act and introduce a fairer voting system, but it is not the first time the government has said one thing and done another. One of the reasons we wanted a fairer voting system was to give Canadians an opportunity to express a broader range of ideas in the House by giving smaller parties a voice and seats in the House and enabling them to participate in democratic debate. Since that did not happen, we think the least the government can do is encourage people to express their political views by providing per-vote funding.
Per-vote funding would enable voters to vote for what they believe in so that a vote for, say, the Green Party, which is a minority party in the House, would not be a total waste. It would give such minority parties a say in the democratic debate of a democratic society for four years. It would enable small parties to participate on a more level playing field in the democratic debate of a democratic society as expressed in an election campaign.
The government wants to backtrack on this. I am disgusted at the government's failure to keep yet another promise.
It is disgusting.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-02-06 16:33 [p.16850]
Mr. Speaker, in thirty seconds, I will say that the Bloc Québécois fully supports amending the Conflict of Interest Act because what the Liberal MPs have been telling us today is that every member of the House can violate the Conflict of Interest Act at least once without any consequences.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-02-06 16:47 [p.16852]
Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are saying that we need to respect the institution, as though the Conflict of Interest Act is not part of the institution and as though violating that act is not an attack on the institution.
The Liberals are trying to derail the debate on the Prime Minister's supposed lack of judgment in accepting the vacations. In fact, they are telling us that voters are not interested in this issue or that they are interested in other things.
I think that is unacceptable coming from a government that claimed to want to do politics differently. Voters are cynical about the institution, Parliament, and all elected officials because they think that, once people get elected, they no longer respect the institution and, by extension, they no longer respect Canadians. That is exactly what the Prime Minister did.
Before we even get into talking about consequences or restitution, it is important to note that he demonstrated a lack of judgment unworthy of his position. Would he ever have told us during the election in a leadership debate that, if he ever violated the Conflict of Interest Act, all he would do is apologize and we would move on to something else? How can my colleague explain the Prime Minister's lack of judgment?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-02-05 15:44 [p.16764]
Mr. Speaker, if we want to get to the real intentions behind government legislation, it never hurts to consider where it is coming from: its background, its history, and the circumstances surrounding it.
As my great-grandmother would say, “the more things change, the more they stay the same”. The government was caught red-handed holding private events offering privileged access to the Prime Minister. Now, it thinks it can make these events more palatable by advertising them to major lobbies with the means to pay $1,500 to discuss their agendas, but advertising them does not make them any less private. The Prime Minister met with Chinese-Canadian billionaires, for instance, and all of a sudden he got a total of $70,000, in $1,500 increments, for his riding of Papineau, even though the reception was held 5,000 kilometres away in Vancouver.
The government thinks that advertising these events will make them fairer and more palatable, but the morally reprehensible part is that one can pay to get privileged access to the Prime Minister and his cabinet. Citizens, voters, and the 61% of voters who did not vote for the current government, will surely view this so-called change with greater cynicism after hearing today's debate. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
What will cause even more cynicism—and I see my colleague who sat on the committee with me—is that a year ago, on February 1, 2017, the committee tabled a report that it would have liked to see become a bill. Instead, that report was scrapped. I am talking about the report of the Special Committee on Electoral Reform regarding the complete overhaul of the Canada Elections Act that was supposed to take place. The government spent millions of dollars to consult voters across the country, and we thought that the outcome was that Canadians wanted more fairness when it comes to electoral representation and election financing.
 Jean-Pierre Kingsley, former chief electoral officer, appeared before the Special Committee on Electoral Reform. In response to one of my questions, he responded without hesitation that, in the interest of fairness, the per-vote subsidy need to be restored. We are very open to that, regardless of the amount. We know that former prime minister Jean Chrétien set up a public funding system under which the parties received $2 per vote. I imagine that he wanted to leave a legacy other than the sponsorship scandal that characterized the Liberals' time in office. Jean-Pierre Kingsley indicated that, in the interest of fairness, that system should be restored as soon as possible.
Why? It is a shame that Bill C-50 does not make any mention of that.
Bill C-50 is just a superficial attempt to make up for getting caught holding cash for access fundraisers. Now everyone has to advertise their little $1,500 fundraising soirées.
Mr. Kingsley said that electoral fairness is part and parcel of living in a democratic society. Even a party that does not have 20 or 60 MPs should have the right to a fair hearing in the democratic debate between elections and from the get-go in an election.
Taxpayers do not have $1,500 to donate to political parties. I would like to know what the average donation to the Liberals and the Conservatives is. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Why is that? When the current governing party was in opposition, it said it would restore fair financing to take big-ticket financing out of the hands of lobby groups. When people meet a prime minister at an exclusive get-together, they are not there for his good looks or his campaign platform.
They are there for a specific purpose, and that purpose is what people are up in arms about. I think $1.75 per ballot would make every voter's democratic participation more meaningful. That is what democratic reform was all about. The whole idea behind changing the electoral system came from the fact that most of the witnesses told us the existing system is not fair and does not promote diversity of representation in the House of Commons. The current system is set up for a bipartisan House, one with two big parties. That is the plain truth. We think every vote should count.
The government broke its promise. It was a year ago to the day, last Thursday, February 1. We marked the occasion, but a broken promise is nothing to celebrate. The government broke its promise and decided to keep the same system, but it is not reinstating the per-vote subsidy. That would have allowed voters to meaningfully vote for any of the parties, the NDP, the Bloc Québécois, the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party, or the Green Party, regardless of how likely that party was to win in the riding. That is the issue, and that is what has voters frustrated. They feel like their vote does not count. Historically, it is always the same party that wins in their ridings. There was also concern about voter turnout.
I know that my vote is not totally wasted, even though this government broke its promise to change the voting system. The minimum of fairness that we can ask of such a system is that it ensure that my vote for the Green Party allows it to continue participating in the democratic debate between elections and that it be allocated, in a fair manner, enough money to have its voice heard in an election. That is a democracy worthy of the name. This is about having a legitimate democracy, rather than seeing alternating governments cater to the interests of people seeking access to it in order to influence its decision-making and then thrust upon us bills that benefit those people. That is what is being debated today.
My colleague from Terrebonne introduced a bill. We would be pleased to see the government include its provisions in Bill C-50, restore the per-vote subsidy, and lower the contribution limit to at least $500. I invite all my colleagues to think about this possibility.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-02-05 15:55 [p.16765]
Mr. Speaker, we oppose this bill not because of what is in the bill, but rather because of what is not in the bill. We will not support it.
The government claims to want to change the democratic institutions, but it is breaking its promise. Since they were caught with their pants down, as my grandfather would say, they suddenly decided to make some cosmetic changes to improve financing. Does this problem become ethically acceptable if the access to the Prime Minister is legalized? This is the fundamental issue here.
We have nothing against advertising something. In fact, I advertised my most recent fundraising event in the papers. Tickets to the event cost $125, which is an amount people may be able to pay, with a tax rebate. It was not $1,500. The Bloc Québécois does not see anything worthwhile in this bill, which is why we will vote against this supposed improvement to the Canada Elections Act.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-02-05 15:57 [p.16765]
Mr. Speaker, it would take me a good 20 minutes to answer that question. I would give the government a zero out of 10 for how well it has done so far. I hope that the government will get its act together and show a little less contempt for the 60% of voters who did not vote Liberal.
On the issue of committee work, the first thing this so-called democratic government should do is allow all duly elected MPs to participate. Just because we do not have 12 members and are not part of an official caucus does not mean that we do not have anything to say in committee. Nevertheless, we are automatically excluded.
This government wanted to change the procedure at the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, but it excluded us from the debate. It did not change the procedure regarding respect for duly elected members, including members of the Green Party and the Bloc Québécois, for example. It is as though that party has a monopoly on deciding what kind of parliamentary democracy we have in the House. In the whole Westminster system, in the entire Commonwealth, this is the only Parliament that operates in this way. It is appalling. It is also part of its agenda. It is unacceptable. If parliamentarians are not allowed to speak, if they are not allowed to vote in committee, where the real action takes place, how are they supposed to represent their constituents?
I had to ask another party to loan me these short 10 minutes I have today so that I could have my say in a debate that will last hours. There are other times, however, when I am not so lucky; when the government uses closure, we cannot speak at all.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2018-02-01 10:10 [p.16608]
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-393, An Act to amend the Canadian Multiculturalism Act (non-application in Quebec).
He said: Mr. Speaker, I am introducing a bill to amend the Canadian Multiculturalism Act to provide that it does not apply in Quebec.
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2017-12-07 15:04 [p.16155]
Mr. Speaker, in December 2016, the interim Conservative leader, Ms. Ambrose, asked the Ethics Commissioner to investigate the Prime Minister's dinner with Chinese billionaires, including the founder of Wealth One bank in Vancouver.
My question is simple: in the documents that the Prime Minister submitted to the Ethics Commissioner, was there a list of the Vancouver donors who donated $70,000 to the riding of Papineau on July 6 and 7, 2016?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2017-12-07 15:06 [p.16156]
Mr. Speaker, the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner is investigating the fact that preferential access to the Prime Minister was given to Chinese billionaires, including the founder of a bank in Vancouver. On the day that bank received its charter, Papineau received $70,000. Now we are expected to be satisfied with an answer like that. Canadians deserve respect. They deserve transparency. They deserve an answer.
Did the Prime Minister give the list of Vancouver donors to the Ethics Commissioner, yes or no?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2017-12-07 17:19 [p.16174]
Mr. Speaker, I listened to my colleague from Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston. I had the opportunity to work with him on the Special Committee on Electoral Reform. I would not want to hurt his feelings today, but I have rarely heard him give such an unfocused speech.
I think that we should pay serious attention to one particular witness I heard at the Special Committee on Electoral Reform. He is considered a leading expert on electoral laws. His name is Jean-Pierre Kingsley. I asked him a very simple question about the link between political party financing and a more equitable electoral system. He said that the per-vote public subsidies to political parties should be restored as soon as possible. Liberals and Conservatives should put that in their pipe and smoke it. That is what Jean-Pierre Kingsley says. He is not some kind of dinosaur, he is someone who deeply cares about the vitality of democracy.
That is what we are talking about, the vitality of democracy. We are not trying to determine if the Bloc Québécois is in financial trouble, if the Green Party and the NDP are in financial trouble or if the Conservative Party has more or less money now than when it was in government.
The Liberal Party was once in favour of electoral reform and a return to a per-vote subsidy for political parties, but now that its coffers are full and it is in power, it no longer sees the need for reform. Why is that?
Certain ideas kept coming up during meetings of the Special Committee on Electoral Reform. We did not end up reforming anything, but things were said, and some of those things had to do with the ruling in Figueroa. A true democracy enables true democratic debate. True democratic debate is predicated on a plurality of positions. That is the purpose the per-vote subsidy serves.
The question that came up was why citizens would bother going to the polls. We have heard statements such as, “Fewer and fewer people vote” and “People are cynical about democratic institutions”. The truth is that people will go to the polls out of a sense of conviction.
A modicum of electoral fairness can only be achieved through a per-vote subsidy. Of course, a proportional ballot would have been even fairer, and would have brought electoral pluralism to the House of Commons.
Canadians will go to the polls to vote out of conviction and they might vote for the Green Party, for example. They know that by voting for the Green Party, $1.75 will be given to that party so that it can continue advancing its cause between elections, as part of the democratic debate in a democratic society, so that when elections are called, all parties can participate form the outset in a fair and democratic electoral debate. That is how a real democrat sees it, unlike a Sunday democrat such as the Liberal Party deputy leader. On this side, we are no Sunday democrats. It has nothing to do with our coffers being full or not. It has to do solely with our sense of democracy. I appeal to the sense of democracy of all members so they stop letting the executive control them for a moment.
We know that, when you are in government, it is easy to raise cash with cocktail parties attended by a cash-for-access minister. That issue was raised in the House. The Prime Minister had to answer for that. When this kind of thing happens, it reflects badly on all parliamentarians. Those people are saying they want to continue doing things the same way.
I will have the opportunity to speak to it again, but I want to say for now that my colleague has just introduced a balanced bill that provides for public financing of political parties. That is how we can engage citizens in the democratic process and get them to vote. That is what is at stake in this bill.
I would be very disappointed if parliamentarians moved to kill this bill before it can be considered clause-by-clause, amended and improved.
Why would this bill not pass first reading and then be improved by all the real democrats in the House?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2017-12-04 15:06 [p.15929]
Mr. Speaker, through the member for Louis-Hébert, the Liberal government has misled the public.
The Ethics Commissioner was unable to give her blessing to a kickback worth about $70,000 in Papineau, because the report of the Chief Electoral Officer was not even available, as the members of this government are well aware.
Will the Prime Minister apologize for once again taking the public for fools?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2017-11-30 15:09 [p.15818]
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is refusing to explain how $70,000 ended up in his riding's coffers and is hiding behind his party's half-baked explanation. The party is now saying that that money came from a fundraising event that was held in British Columbia at the end of June.
Since when are fundraising events for Papineau held 5,000 kilometres away from Montreal?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2017-11-30 15:10 [p.15818]
Mr. Speaker, the facts are these. On May 19, 2016, the founder of Wealth One paid $1,500 for a private dinner with the Prime Minister. On July 7, he got his wish and was told that his bank could open. Then, by sheer coincidence, within 48 hours of the bank getting approved, $70,000 was deposited into the bank account of the Liberal riding of Papineau by wealthy Chinese individuals from Vancouver.
If that was not a way to return the favour, then what was it?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2017-11-29 15:14 [p.15741]
Mr. Speaker, the 2016 political financing report reveals a coincidence in the Papineau riding that is troubling, to say the least.
On July 6 and 7, 2016, while the Liberal government was approving a Chinese bank in Vancouver, the Prime Minister received nearly $70,000 for his riding from wealthy Chinese individuals from Vancouver. That was nearly two-thirds of his political financing in under 48 hours.
Can he explain that to us?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2017-11-24 12:02 [p.15567]
Madam Speaker, flight attendants are worried about the decision to allow small knives on planes. They were clear with the Minister of Transport, expressing that “the changes go too far and put flight attendants and the public at risk”.
Since the ICAO has no requirement for standardizing high-risk items, why is it necessary to allow pocket knives on planes instead of keeping them in the baggage hold?
View Luc Thériault Profile
BQ (QC)
View Luc Thériault Profile
2017-11-24 12:04 [p.15568]
Madam Speaker, 163 workers at the Davie shipyard lost their jobs yesterday because the government is not doing its job. Another 350 positions may be cut next week, one month before Christmas. The government is to blame because it continues to shortchange Quebec when awarding shipbuilding contracts.
Will the government finally take action and award Davie a second contract for a supply ship? Time is running out.
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